How to Connect your Windows Phone 8 to your Xbox 360 Console

Did you know that you can connect your Windows Phone 8 smartphone to your Xbox 360 console and use your smartphone as a remote control? If you didn't, then you should read this tutorial and learn how to interact with your Xbox 360 from your Windows Phone. Here's how it all works:

Step 1 - Install the Xbox SmartGlass App from the Windows Phone Store

Go to the Store on your Windows Phone 8 and search for the word smartglass. Open the Xbox SmartGlass search result and tap Install.

NOTE: The app is not available for all countries and regions and you might need to change your language+region settings on your Windows Phone, so that you can access it on the Windows Phone Store.

Once the app is installed, you won't see any live tiles on the Start screen, nor any entry in the App list. In order to access it, you need to open the Games app.

In the Collection screen, you'll find the Xbox SmartGlass shortcut in the xbox section.

If you plan to use this app often, it is best to pin it to the Start screen. Press and hold on its entry and select pin to start.

Here's how its tile will look once you pin it to the Start screen.

Before you go ahead and use the app, follow the instructions shared in the next section.

Step 2 - Set the Xbox 360 Console to Turn on Xbox SmartGlass Apps

On your console, you must use the same Microsoft account as on your Windows Phone. Sign in with that account, go to Settings and choose System

Press Console Settings and a long list of settings is displayed.

Then, press Connected Devices.

There, set both Xbox SmartGlass Apps and Play To to On.

This way you can completely remote control your Xbox 360 console from Windows Phone smartphone. Also, set whether you want to allow game interruption or not.

Now you can go to your Windows Phone and perform the next step.

Step 3 - Configure the Xbox SmartGlass App in Windows Phone

Now, get back to your Windows Phone smartphone. If you are using the same Microsoft account as on your Xbox 360 console, then everything should work smoothly. First, connect to the same network as your console. Even if the console is connected via a wire while your smartphone is connected via wireless, there's no issue. It is important that the first connection is made from the same network.

Start Xbox SmartGlass on your Windows Phone. It will automatically try to sign you in.

Once the sign in is done, you are shown a few get started guides for how to interact with your Xbox 360 from your Windows Phone. Watch them if you want to and tap OK.

Now are taken to the Home screen of the Xbox SmartGlass app.

Here you can view what's playing right now on your Xbox and you can launch the remote control on your phone. If you scroll down a bit, you will see the recent activities that were performed on your Xbox.

Flick to the right to access the Discover screen. Here you are shown the latest games, movies and music available on the Xbox Store. You can play any of them remotely on your Xbox 360, with only a tap on your smartphone.

Flick further to the right and you will access the Bing screen. Here you can perform searches on the Xbox store, using Bing.

If you want to configure how the Xbox SmartGlass app works, press the three dots on the bottom of the app screen. A contextual menu opens with the following options:

  • home - takes you to the app's home screen
  • remote - launches the remote control for your Xbox console
  • refresh - refreshes the information displayed in the current screen
  • settings - allows you to set some parameters about the app's functioning

In future tutorials we will look into more detail about how the Xbox SmartGlass app works on your Windows Phone.

Small Annoyances & Problems

While using the app, I noticed a couple of issues that are worth mentioning:

First of all, each time you lock your smartphone the app disconnects from your Xbox 360. When you unlock your smartphone, you need to wait again for it to connect to the console, before you can use it. This can be annoying at times.

Also, the first time you start the app, you might get a weird error, saying: "Xbox SmartGlass can't sign in (1000)".

If this happens, double check that both your Xbox 360 and your smartphone are connected to the same network and they are using the same Microsoft account. Then, press the Sign In button until it works. Sometimes, it took me two or three presses before it worked.

Conclusion

As you can see from this guide, it's very easy to connect your Windows Phone device to your Xbox 360 console and use it as a remote control. I hope you found this guide useful and, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask using the comments form below.